Anne Regina Interview 015: KCRW DJ Anne Litt interviewing Regina Spektor on stage following her performance. (Photo: Larry Hershowitz)
Last week, Regina Spektor spent her Wednesday night at veteran producer/mixer/engineer Bob Clearmountain's private studio where she played an intimate set for an invite-only audience. The session was part of KCRW's Berkeley Street Sessions, and was taped to air on the station's Morning Becomes Eclectic show on September 25th. If there were a prize to be given for the most respectful concert audience, it would have likely been awarded to last night's crowd -- midshow, Spektor told the audience that the evening had invented a new genre: "intimate with strangers."
She played nine songs in total, eight from her recently released album, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats. As she approached the piano, she took a look at the 200-person audience, which included The Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield, and joked that "it was a lot emptier during soundcheck."
Regina Spektor and Husband Jack Dishel (Only Son) performing together on stage. (Photo: Larry Hershowitz)
She kicked off her set with "Small Town Moon" and then summoned her husband, Jack Dishel (from the band Only Son), to accompany her on "Call Them Brothers." The crowd's enthusiasm guaranteed a big smile from the singer for much of the set, which she finished with "Ode to Divorce" (from her 2003 LP Soviet Kitsch) and "The Party."
(L-R): Ron Shapiro, Mitra Darab & KCRW's Jason Bentley & Anne Litt. (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
Spotted at the show were Spektor's manager, Ron Shapiro (who also works with BeBe Winans, 2AM Club, the Indecent, Imelda May and others) and Warner Bros.' marketing VP Mitra Darab and Julie Muncy, VP Radio Promotion at Warner Brothers Records. They noted that Spektor's next single, "How," will be hitting radio next month and enthused about several new releases on the label: Atlas Genius, Blondfire and Eli Paperboy Reed -- all of which are coming next year -- as well as the forthcoming releases from Muse and Green Day.
(L to R): KCRW DJ Anne Litt, Regina Spektor, KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley. (Photo: Larry Hershowitz)
KCRW DJ Anne Litt and Music Director Jason Bentley spent about 15 minutes rattling off new and upcoming albums they're excited about, including Grizzly Bear, Cat Power, Michael Kiwanuka, Tame Impala, Lianne La Havas, Hot Chip, Alt-J, Atlas Genius and Oren Lyons. Litt says KCRW is currently focusing on a pledge drive (which runs through the 24th) that brings in the lion's share of the station's budget.
(L to R): Julie Muncy, VP Radio Promotion & Mitra Darab, VP of Marketing at Warner Brothers Records hanging out before the show. (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
The KCRW crew is also looking forward to Masquerade, a costume ball that takes place at the Park Plaza in Los Angeles on October 27th. "It's the fourth year that we're doing this and it's become a bit of a Los Angeles tradition. Most of the DJs play and we always have a certain amount of bands augment what it is. There is also weird art and live creation performance art," says Litt.
Bob Clearmountain inside his studio (Apogee's Berkeley Street Studio). (Photo: Nicole Pajer)
KCRW also recently launched an online music submission app called MALCOM, which enables bands to submit their songs for KCRW DJs to listen to. They plan to start a podcast with artists that they find through the tool.